MSG is a flavor-enhancing food additive, used in packed food and restaurant preparations.
MSG can cause allergic symptoms in some individuals which is also known as Chinese Resturant Syndrom.
To know more, about this slow poisoning ingredient read below.
What Is An MSG Allergy
MSG, when taken in high doses, can cause health issues in some individuals. The health complication can be minor to severe depending on the individual.
The signs and symptoms accompanied after high doses of MSG is often known as MSG allergy. Earlier in the 1960s, it was also known as Chinese restaurant syndrome.
Several types of research are done to find out a evidence of MSG and MSG allergy. However, most of the researchers fail to do so.
Many people have faced adverse reaction after consuming MSG but researchers are unable to scientifically prove the same.
In a recent research in 2016, it was said that any amount of MSG is genotoxic. Here it means, MSG can damage body cells and genetic material which can be a major health risk.
The same way a research in 2015, published that too much of MSG consumption can lead to kidney issues.
Yet another study in 2014, revealed that MSG can develop depressive behavior as it can alter an important transmitter of the brain. MSG alters serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for emotions and mood.
One more study was done in 2014 by Clinical Nutrition Research. This study suggested that irritative skin, headache, gas, bloating, etc. as common signs of MSG allergy. Most of the studies were done on animals but were true for humans too.
The studies concluded it is a large dose of MSG that cause symptoms. However, such portions were unlikely to be found in the restaurant or grocery store.
Thus, MSG, when taken regularly or in large amounts, can result in mild to adverse reactions. If you are interested to know more about the effects and truth about MSG you can read this.
Symptoms Of MSG Allergy/Poisoning
People may develop signs or symptoms within two hours after eating the food. The symptoms can last for a few hours or a few days.
For some the symptoms are severe and for some, they are too mild to notice depending on the body type.
The major sign and symptoms of MSG poisoning are as follows:
- Mild to a severe headache. Sometimes it resembles a migraine
- Hives. They are red, itchy, welts on the skin. They may develop in the whole body or only in the hands and legs. These rashes go off on its own in a day or two.
- A runny nose or chest congestion.
- Mild chest pain occurring due to indigestion or gas
- A numb or burning sensation in and around the mouth.
- Swelling of the face
- Excessive sweating
- Stomach upset or loose stools
- Depression and mood swings
- Feeling sleepy
The above mentioned are mild issues faced due to MSG allergy. Apart from this, some individuals might develop long-term adverse issues too with it.
They are listed below:
1. Sexual Problems
A testing conducted by the WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives found that MSG can cause lesions in the central nervous system in animal especially when taken in high doses.
The study was done on 59 animal. Few of them are mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, chicks, rabbit, ducks, dogs, and primates. It was found MSG damages the hypothalamus within few hours of consumption.
In humans, the hypothalamus is in the brain and is responsible for regulating the level of hormones released by the pituitary gland. A decrease in the functioning of the pituitary gland can decrease the level of testosterone.
Further, a decrease in testosterone level can cause erectile dysfunctioning, hair loss, and weight loss in men. Same way in women, produced pituitary functioning can reduce the estrogen level in women.
Further, with reduced estrogen the menstrual cycle would be disturbed, libido would be reduced, and may develop mood swings too.
2. Liver And Intestine Issues
A study stated that the FDA has not set a limit to the amount of MSG that can be added to food. With no limit, the food industry can add as much amount as they can. This can be a threat to the people’s health.
In the same study, it was found that MSG can increase the liver and the secretion of intestinal enzymes too. With the increase, people might develop intestinal and gastric issues.
Moreoff, the elevated liver enzymes can result in fatigue, pain in the abdomen, nausea, joint pain, itching in the body, loss of appetite, bowel issues, and decreased mental state.
3. Unhealthy Mental State
MSG is poisonous for your brain too. It is capable of negatively affecting the glutamate receptors in the body. Abnormal functioning of glutamate receptors can cause neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s chorea.
However, these diseases won’t develop all of a sudden, they will take time to progress. But with regular MSG consumption, the progression speed might increase.
4. Chest Pain And Heart Issues
Chest pain should never be ignored. Some of the adverse issues of MSG allergy are chest pain, irregular heart rhythms, and pressure on the chest. Any of these symptoms can prove dangerous, so should never be ignored.
When after a heavy meal you feel pressure on your chest or fullness in the stomach, it might be a result of MSG. Chest pain is a common symptom of MSG poisoning.
These issues don’t develop all of a sudden, they take time. Additionally, most of the items the cause of these symptoms is not diagnosed correctly.
5. Shortness Of Breath
In some individuals, MSG caused breathing difficulties immediately after consumption.
The doctor confirms an MSG allergy if you have eaten any MSG containing food within the last two hours. Increased heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, and decreased airflow confirms an MSG poisoning or MSG allergy
How To Avoid MSG (Food To Avoid In Msg)?
MSG may not affect some people but, it may give severe sensitivity to some. We can avoid it just by being a little cautious. We have to be proactive in the restaurants and should always read the labels carefully.
Below are some of the steps that will help you to avoid MSG.
1. Avoiding non-food items that may have MSG. In some cosmetics, soap, shampoo, and hair conditioner may have MSG.
Look for words like hydrolyzed, protein, glutamic acid, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, vegetable protein extract, textured protein, and amino acids. These words suggest they have MSG in them.
2. A few medications, vitamin, and other dietary supplements contain MSG in the fillers. Be careful while purchasing such things. Check with the pharmacist to ensure safety.
3. Avoid too much-processed food. Almost every processed food or packed food contain MSG in their food. One way to avoid it is to consume less packed food. Prefer fresh vegetable, fruits, or freshly cooked food over packed processed food.
4. The seasonings available in packed bottles end up having some amount of MSG. So, stick your self to basic seasonings like salt and black pepper.
5. Cook fresh food. Frozen meat, canned fruits, frozen vegetables contain MSG in them. So, try cooking fresh food at home. Buy fresh meat, vegetable, and fruit instead of buying frozen ones. This way you can cut some amounts of MSG from your food.
6. Avoid salty packed snacks. Salty snacks like lays, Cheetos, Doritos etc. have MSG in them. MSG is added along with flavor. Substitute these snacks with home prepared snacks like roasted peanuts, roasted lotus seeds, etc.
7. Avoid deli meat. The deli meats have MSG. MSG is added to them to keep the taste fresh and enhance the flavor.
8. In most of the Asian cuisine, especially in the restaurants, MSG is present. Before ordering food ask about the MSG and tell them not to put MSG in your food.
Chinese food contains the highest amount of MSG. So, be cautious when ordering Chinese food in restaurants.
9. Cut the fast food. Fast food restaurants like Pizza hut, Dominos, KFC, Burger King, etc. put MSG in their food. One way to avoid it is by knowing the items in which they put MSG.
For the same, you can go to their website and search for foods with MSG. Alternatively, you can even cut down or completely stop their intake.
Remedies For MSG Allergy Poisoning
The best key to avoid MSG poisoning is by adding the additive itself. However, if you suffer from the toxicity, there are some measures to treat it.
Down below is a list of remedies that can help you get rid of MSG poisoning.
1. Tartar Cream
Tartar cream is very effective to neutralize tartar effect. When the cream is mixed with water the MSG poisoning is neutralized and thereby the symptoms are relieved.
The cream forms an alkaline environment when ingested. The alkalinity raises the pH of the blood and stabilizes the entire body system.
For the remedy, mix about half a teaspoon of cream of tartar in a glass of water. Shake it and drink it off as it is. You can do when you are eating food or if you have already developed MSG allergy.
2. Drink Lots Of Water
Water is the key to cleanse our entire body system. It is the only easily available item that can keep your system toxin free.
With water, all the toxins are excreted from the body via urine. One should drink minimum 2litres of water daily. Our body requires water depending on our weight.
For every 200kgs of weight, one liter of water is a must. So, if you are 60kgs, you need a minimum of 3liters water daily.
Drink water if you suffer from MSG allergy. Water will help to excrete out the MSG from your body and thus would relieve your symptoms.
3. Homeopathic Remedy With Vodka
A homeopathic remedy can relieve MSG poisoning easily. The remedy act as an antidote to the ill effects of the toxin.
For the remedy, place 1 to 2 small pellets in a dropper bottle. Try going for the brown bottles as with them you can see the water level from outside easily.
Fill half the bottle with distilled water and on top of water add Vodka. Next, take the bottle in one hand and slap the bottom with the other hand. Be cautious don’t break the bottle and hurt yourself. Slap the bottle five times.
Next, open the bottle and sniff it. Put the lid again. Perform this remedy for two to three doses for optimum relief from MSG allergy.
This remedy is referred to as an olfactory dose. The remedy works for many. But, if it does not work for you consult a homeopathetic doctor to relieve the symptoms.
MSG is a man-made chemical food additive that is harmful in every way for all of us. We do take it knowingly or unknowingly from so many things.
Nowadays, it is being widely used in almost all the things. Be it restaurant food, packed snacks, frozen meat, frozen vegetable, finger snacks etc.
The FDA has approved it and regarded it in the GRAS category. But, the FDA has not set a limit to it. So, these industries end up adding any amount of MSG in their food items to make it more tasty and flavorful.
If you eat something tasty, you will ask for more. Some of the food industries have applied the same marketing logic, they add more MSG for you to ask more. This way their products flourishes.
The best way to stay away from it is being cautious. Read the labels when buying food. Stick the natural and fresh ways of cooking. It takes time but it’s worth it as it keeps you healthy and diseases at bay.
In spite of all these many studies have been performed to check the exact cause of MSG on human health. But, till now not much is proved scientifically.
Some people tend to develop mild to severe allergies after consuming food. On the other hand, for some the reaction is negligible.
MSG allergy is a bit tricky to diagnose. So, if you get it do tell your doctor about the food you took. The allergy is not life-threatening but its discomforting. So, try to keep yourself away from MSG for your health and safety.